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The Devils'' Alliance : Hitler''s Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941

By: Moorhouse, Roger.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Publisher: New York : Basic Books, 2014Description: 1 online resource (695 p.).ISBN: 9780465054923.Subject(s): Germany -- Foreign relations -- Soviet Union | Germany. -- Germany., -- 1939 August 23 | Soviet Union -- Foreign relations -- Germany | World War, 1939-1945 -- Diplomatic historyGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: The Devils'' Alliance : Hitler''s Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941DDC classification: 938.12589 LOC classification: DD247.H3693 .M384 2014Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Cover; Title Page; Copyright; Dedication; Table of Contents; Author's Note; Chronology; List of Maps; Introduction; Prologue: A Meeting on the Boundary of Peace; Chapter 1: The Devil's Potion; Chapter 2: Bonded in Blood; Chapter 3: Sharing the Spoils; Chapter 4: Contortions; Chapter 5: A Rough, Uncertain Wooing; Chapter 6: Oiling the Wheels of War; Chapter 7: Comrade "Stonearse" in the Lair of the Fascist Beast; Chapter 8: Riding the Nazi Tiger; Chapter 9: No Honor Among Thieves; Epilogue: Life After Death; Appendix: Text of the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact; Acknowledgments; Notes
BibliographyIndex
Summary: History remembers the Soviets and the Nazis as bitter enemies and ideological rivals, the two mammoth and opposing totalitarian regimes of World War II whose conflict would be the defining and deciding clash of the war. Yet for nearly a third of the conflict's entire timespan, Hitler and Stalin stood side by side as allies. In The Devils' Alliance, acclaimed historian Roger Moorhouse explores the causes and implications of the tenuous Nazi-Soviet pact, an unholy covenant whose creation and dissolution were crucial turning points in World War II. Indeed, this riveting chapter of World War II is the key to understanding why the conflict evolved—and ended—the way it did. Nazism and Bolshevism made unlikely bedfellows, but the brutally efficient joint Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939 illustrated the powerful incentives that existed for both sides to set aside their differences. Forged by vain and pompous German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and his Russian counterpart, the inscrutable and stubborn Vyacheslav Molotov, the Nazi-Soviet pact in August of 1939 briefly unified the two powers. Together, the Germans and Soviets quickly conquered and divvied up central and eastern Europe— Poland, the Baltic States, Finland, and Bessarabia—aiding one another through exchanges of information, blueprints, and prisoners. The human cost was staggering: in Poland alone, the Soviets deported 1.5 million people in 1940, 400,000 of whom would never return. Tens of thousands were also deported from the Baltic States, including almost all of the members of the Estonian parliament. Of the 100,000 civilians deported to Siberia from Bessarabia, barely a third survived. Nazi and Soviet leaders hoped that a similar quid-pro-quo agreement would also characterize their economic relationship. The Soviet Union would export much-needed raw materials to Germany, while the Germans would provide weapons and technological innovations to their communist counterparts. In reality, however, economic negotiations were fraught from the start, not least because the Soviets, mindful that the Germans were in dire need of raw materials to offset a British blockade, made impossible demands of their ally. Although German-Soviet trade still grew impressively through 1940, it was not enough to convince Hitler that he could rely on the partnership with Moscow, which on the whole was increasingly turbulent and unpredictable. Fortunately for the Allies, the pact—which seemed to negate any chances of an Allied victory in Europe—was short-lived. Delving into the motivations and forces at work, Moorhouse explores how the partnership soured, ultimately resulting in the surprise June 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union. With the final dissolution of the pact, the Soviets sided with the Western democracies, a development that changed the course of the war—and which, upon Germany's defeat, allowed the Soviets to solidify the inroads they had made into Eastern Europe during their ill-starred alliance. Reviled by contemporaries, the Nazi-Soviet Pact would have a similarly baleful afterlife. Though it was torn up by the Nazis and denied or excused as a strategic necessity by the Soviets, its effects and political ramifications proved remarkably persistent. The boundaries of modern eastern and central Europe adhere closely to the hasty divisions made by Ribbentrop and Molotov. Even more importantly, the pact laid the groundwork for Soviet control of Eastern Europe, a power grab that would define the post-war order. Drawing on memoirs, diaries, and official records from newly opened Soviet archives, The Devils' Alliance is the authoritative work on one of the seminal episodes of World War II. In his characteristically rich and detailed prose, Moorhouse paints a vivid picture of the pact's origins and its enduring influence as a crucial turning point, in both the war and in modern history.
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Cover; Title Page; Copyright; Dedication; Table of Contents; Author's Note; Chronology; List of Maps; Introduction; Prologue: A Meeting on the Boundary of Peace; Chapter 1: The Devil's Potion; Chapter 2: Bonded in Blood; Chapter 3: Sharing the Spoils; Chapter 4: Contortions; Chapter 5: A Rough, Uncertain Wooing; Chapter 6: Oiling the Wheels of War; Chapter 7: Comrade "Stonearse" in the Lair of the Fascist Beast; Chapter 8: Riding the Nazi Tiger; Chapter 9: No Honor Among Thieves; Epilogue: Life After Death; Appendix: Text of the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact; Acknowledgments; Notes

BibliographyIndex

History remembers the Soviets and the Nazis as bitter enemies and ideological rivals, the two mammoth and opposing totalitarian regimes of World War II whose conflict would be the defining and deciding clash of the war. Yet for nearly a third of the conflict's entire timespan, Hitler and Stalin stood side by side as allies. In The Devils' Alliance, acclaimed historian Roger Moorhouse explores the causes and implications of the tenuous Nazi-Soviet pact, an unholy covenant whose creation and dissolution were crucial turning points in World War II. Indeed, this riveting chapter of World War II is the key to understanding why the conflict evolved—and ended—the way it did. Nazism and Bolshevism made unlikely bedfellows, but the brutally efficient joint Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939 illustrated the powerful incentives that existed for both sides to set aside their differences. Forged by vain and pompous German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and his Russian counterpart, the inscrutable and stubborn Vyacheslav Molotov, the Nazi-Soviet pact in August of 1939 briefly unified the two powers. Together, the Germans and Soviets quickly conquered and divvied up central and eastern Europe— Poland, the Baltic States, Finland, and Bessarabia—aiding one another through exchanges of information, blueprints, and prisoners. The human cost was staggering: in Poland alone, the Soviets deported 1.5 million people in 1940, 400,000 of whom would never return. Tens of thousands were also deported from the Baltic States, including almost all of the members of the Estonian parliament. Of the 100,000 civilians deported to Siberia from Bessarabia, barely a third survived. Nazi and Soviet leaders hoped that a similar quid-pro-quo agreement would also characterize their economic relationship. The Soviet Union would export much-needed raw materials to Germany, while the Germans would provide weapons and technological innovations to their communist counterparts. In reality, however, economic negotiations were fraught from the start, not least because the Soviets, mindful that the Germans were in dire need of raw materials to offset a British blockade, made impossible demands of their ally. Although German-Soviet trade still grew impressively through 1940, it was not enough to convince Hitler that he could rely on the partnership with Moscow, which on the whole was increasingly turbulent and unpredictable. Fortunately for the Allies, the pact—which seemed to negate any chances of an Allied victory in Europe—was short-lived. Delving into the motivations and forces at work, Moorhouse explores how the partnership soured, ultimately resulting in the surprise June 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union. With the final dissolution of the pact, the Soviets sided with the Western democracies, a development that changed the course of the war—and which, upon Germany's defeat, allowed the Soviets to solidify the inroads they had made into Eastern Europe during their ill-starred alliance. Reviled by contemporaries, the Nazi-Soviet Pact would have a similarly baleful afterlife. Though it was torn up by the Nazis and denied or excused as a strategic necessity by the Soviets, its effects and political ramifications proved remarkably persistent. The boundaries of modern eastern and central Europe adhere closely to the hasty divisions made by Ribbentrop and Molotov. Even more importantly, the pact laid the groundwork for Soviet control of Eastern Europe, a power grab that would define the post-war order. Drawing on memoirs, diaries, and official records from newly opened Soviet archives, The Devils' Alliance is the authoritative work on one of the seminal episodes of World War II. In his characteristically rich and detailed prose, Moorhouse paints a vivid picture of the pact's origins and its enduring influence as a crucial turning point, in both the war and in modern history.

Description based upon print version of record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Starred Review. Outside of Poland and the Baltic States, Hitler's pact with Stalin during the early days of World War II is one of the more obscure events of the war. It allowed for the partitioning of Poland and the Soviet invasion and subsequent annexation of the Baltic States and Finland, as well as the Nazi occupation and invasion of Scandinavia, the Low Countries, and France. Moorhouse (Berlin at War) seeks to address this oversight by returning the Nazi-Soviet Pact to the more central place it deserves as a precursor to the outbreak of World War II. In this well-researched and well-written book, the author details how two of history's most notorious dictators collaborated in secrecy for a common cause-domination. This work is especially welcome, as there is virtually no research on the pact and what evidence exists is either fairly outdated or stems from writing about related subjects in which the pact is only a footnote. VERDICT Moorhouse's accessible prose and clear explication make this a great story for history readers, and his extensive research and documentation help create a critical text for academics focusing on World War II, German history, and Soviet history.-John Sandstrom, New Mexico State Univ. Lib., Las Cruces (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Moorhouse begins his new book by setting up something of a straw man. He argues that historians have largely ignored the role that the Nazi-Soviet nonaggression pact, negotiated and signed in August 1939, played in the outbreak of WW II. His own bibliography, consisting of scores of published, mostly secondary, sources (the vast majority of them in English), casts serious doubt on the accuracy of this claim. Putting aside the historiographical shortcomings of the book, it is a fascinating read that its target audience, readers of popular history, will find fascinating. The author does a remarkable job of maintaining readers' attention in spite of the fact that they know how the story ends. Moorhead is adept at choosing historical actors' most interesting quotations and draws upon a vast amount of data indicating that, at least from an economic perspective, the rapprochement between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia worked largely to the latter's advantage. In short, while the book makes for compelling reading, it will not tell professional historians anything that they do not already know. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Public and undergraduate libraries. --Russel W. Lemmons, Jacksonville State University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Roger Moorhouse studied history at the University of London and is a regular contributor to BBC History Magazine. He is the award-winning author of Berlin at War and Killing Hitler: The Plots, The Assassins, and the Dictator Who Cheated Death and is co-author with Norman Davies of Microcosm: Portrait of a Central European City .

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